2006_11_broadchannel2.jpgOf all the things you say to a police officer of another color, is using a racial epithet really the best idea?

Remember the story of a Halloween Broad Channel scuffle, between some youths and cops: The police got upset that an unmarked cruiser was egged and questioned people; some youths reacted badly (one jumped on the back of a police officer), so the police started to use their batons and the residents basically rioted; the fact that one of the officers was black may have been an issue. Well, now the four white residents arrested in that incident have also been charged with bias crimes.

Seventeen year old Patrick Rich claims that he was using racial epithets to be cordial to Detective Marques Stewart, who is black. Court papers reveal Rich telilng the police, "I didn't mean n----r in that way, that's just the way I talk. I meant it in a friendly way." Now that is rich!

The Post adds that he apparently also called Stewart a "monkey f-----" and called a white officer a "n----- lover," though Rich now denies it. The Daily News reports him as saying, "I'm not racist, I have blacks in my family .... Do you think I'm that stupid to make those statements?" Well...

And coincidentally, Rich's late brother had been assaulted by Nick Minucci, who was convicted of a hate crime when he beat a black man with a baseball bat in Howard Beach. Minucci tried to claim that the n-word was just part of his vernacular.